An Ottawa Police Patrol Officer responding to a collision with injuries at Kirkwood Avenue and Coldrey Avenue this morning found a total of seven tow trucks congesting the scene attempting to solicit business.
The responding officer charged six of the tow truck drivers under the City’s Towing Bylaw for being within 100 meters of a collision scene. The charge carries a $175 fine. A seventh driver was issued a warning.
“The problem of collision chasing by tow trucks has reached epidemic proportions in Ottawa,” said Sgt. John Kiss, supervisor of Ottawa Police Impounded Vehicles section. “Not only are tow truck drivers breaking the law by approaching collision scenes, they can also cause further danger at what is already a hazardous situation.”
“It has been our experience that some Ottawa tow truck drivers have fraudulently claimed that the police have sent them to the scene and they have often convinced unsuspecting motorists that their otherwise drivable cars must be towed.”
Motorists involved in a collision should never accept services from a tow truck arriving on scene and are reminded to immediately call the 1-800 number on their “pink slips” to obtain assistance and instructions from their insurance company. Furthermore, it is illegal for a tow truck driver to approach a motorist at a collision without having been called in by either police or the motorist.